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Survivors of childhood cancers more prone to sleep problems

16 Mar 2019
Childhood cancer and leukaemia in Singapore

Sleep difficulties are exacerbated in long-term survivors of childhood cancers, which may lead to persistent emotional distress, a new study has found.

The study included 1,933 survivors (median age 35 years; 50.8 percent female) who were asked to complete measures of sleep quality, fatigue and sleepiness. Emotional distress and physical health were assessed 5 years before and after the sleep survey. Researchers also included 380 comparator siblings (median age 33 years; 52.4 percent female) in the analysis.

Poor sleep efficiency was significantly more common among survivors than siblings (30.8 percent vs 24.7 percent; prevalence ratio [PR], 1.26; 95 percent CI, 1.04–1.53), as were excessive daytime sleepiness (18.7 percent and 14.2 percent; PR, 1.31; 1.00–1.71) and the use of supplements to manage sleep (13.5 percent vs 8.3 percent; PR, 1.56; 1.09–2.22).

Unadjusted models further showed that snoring (8.4 percent vs 5.3 percent; PR, 1.64; 1.02–2.65) and medication for managing sleep (10.1 percent vs 6.6 percent; PR, 1.54; 1.03–2.30) were similarly more common among survivors.

High emotional distress after baseline significantly impaired sleep efficiency in survivors, relative to those who reported no distress at both surveys (PR, 1.70; 1.40–2.07). Distress had a similar negative effect on restricted sleep time (PR, 1.35; 1.12–1.62) and fatigue (PR, 2.11; 1.92–2.32).

The same was true for daytime sleepiness (PR, 2.19; 1.71–2.82), snoring (PR, 1.85; 1.08–3.16), and the frequent use of medication (PR, 2.86; 2.00–4.09) and supplements (PR, 1.89; 1.33–2.69) for managing sleep.

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Most Read Articles
5 days ago

Dr Michael Lim, a senior consultant at the Paediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Division, National University Hospital, Singapore, speaks to Roshini Claire Anthony on the rare disease that is cystic fibrosis.

3 days ago
Susceptibility‐guided therapy is as effective as empiric modified bismuth quadruple therapy for the first-line treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection, with both yielding excellent eradication rates, as shown in a recent trial.
5 days ago
It appears that long-term consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acid does not influence the risk of incident hypertension in middle-aged and older men, suggests a US study.
3 days ago
The risk factors and outcomes associated with an increased risk of permanent pacing include atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, multivalve surgery and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III/IV, a recent study has found.